This is part of a weekly series featuring content written by the Lenovo Companion App Content Team

In a world where we’ve come to rely heavily on technology, few things are more frustrating than being held up by a slow computer. It can be downright maddening to sit and wait for your PC to boot, feeling powerless to push it into action faster.

There are plenty of ways you can help speed up your PC. You can free up disk space, regularly apply system updates and, a personal favorite, be on the lookout for zombies.

Another step that’s often overlooked is disabling all those pesky apps that run when Windows starts, even though you rarely use them. It’s probably not your fault that they run automatically. It’s all too easy to mindlessly check the “open at startup option” offered by many apps at installation.

Once you remove the auto-start setting you may be surprised at just how much your PC’s performance improves. Here are the steps to follow in Windows 8.1:

Start by Opening Task Manager

Pull up the search bar (swipe in from the right edge of the screen or direct your mouse pointer to the upper-right corner and then move it down) and enter Task Manager.

Go to the Startup tab, where you’ll see a list of apps that are set to run each time you turn on your PC. Next to each app you’ll also see the name of the publisher, status and estimated startup impact.

Then Disable Apps One by One

You can now right-click on any app to pull up and select Disable. The app will still appear on the list, but the status will change to “disabled.”

Yes, you’ll have to hand-select and disable programs one at a time, but this way you can pick and choose the ones you know for certain you don’t need at startup.

If you have a lot of apps installed and are especially frustrated with how long your PC takes to start up, grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a few minutes of disabling most, if not all, of them. (Which, after all, may be less time than you’d wait for the machine to boot in the first place.) You may want to first purge the apps you no longer need.

We’re all guilty of installing a cool-sounding new app, trying it out once or twice and then forever forgetting about it. It’s worth revisiting which programs are on your system and how many of them could be slowing it down.

Lenovo Companion | Your Go-To App 

Read more content like this in the Lenovo Companion app, which is preloaded on all Windows 8 and 8.1 Lenovo and Think systems.You can find it on your system in the Lenovo Apps section on the Windows Start Screen.

Lenovo Companion is filled with exclusive content to help you learn about your new Lenovo or Think system. You'll find quick-reference “how to” articles on everything from getting to know the preloaded apps on your system to how to use your new trackpad. And, in select countries, you'll be able to stay up-to-date on technology news with articles and blogs from trusted sources, partners and Lenovo Insider bloggers. 

Be sure to note...the new version of Lenovo Companion is only available on Windows 8.1. So, if you’re running Windows 8 or an older version of Windows, now is the time to upgrade.

Continue reading more about Lenovo Companion in this blog post